A heartbreaking yet inspiring survival story that follows an adoptee on her road to self discovery and healing.
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"Finding Gloria" is a memoir. In Finding Gloria, the author tells her story beginning from the moment she was given up for adoption to growing up in southern Manitoba. The book follows her upbringing in an abusive home where she was beaten and starved, until she runs away as a teenager.
Eventually she marries, and raises four children, but the echoes of her mother's abuse ring loudly, affecting all of life's decisions. Her biggest struggle is putting her past aside and live her life, but first she had to figure out who she was meant to be. On the heels of her adoptive mother's death, she finds her birth family and the origins of her life, and with it she finds the love, peace and acceptance that she never experienced during the first forty years of her life.
"Finding Gloria" chronicles the authors rise out of the ashes, to the point of discovering that everything she grew up believing about herself was lies, and only she could change her future.
Over the course of my life I have learned a simple truth - sometimes we have to hit rock bottom before we can claw our way desperately to the top. Unfortunately, like many lost souls, I had to learn this the hard way – one painful step at a time.
I realized something important one night after my third husband had just admitted he’d sexually assaulted me while I slept. It wasn’t the first time, but it would be the last. It destroyed my spirit that someone I loved and trusted could hurt me in what I considered the most sacred of ways. He knew my past and when we married I believed his vow to love and protect me. Instead, he callously tossed those beliefs away and violated me for his own perverted pleasure. His sickening betrayal was just one more kick in the teeth after a lifetime of kicks.
Devastated, I locked myself in my bedroom; refusing to come out for three days. Emotionally spent I felt sucked into a whirlpool of internal agony – I was at my lowest point. Wrapped in utter despair, I felt trapped in victim mode. While I knew it was wrong, I carried the deeply rooted belief I deserved every rotten thing that happened to me in my life - this is what I’d been taught to believe about myself. My self-worth and self-esteem lay in shambles, and I couldn’t find the glue to put it all back together again. I’ve spent much of my life unsuccessfully searching for unconditional love and acceptance - instead I received a lifetime of pain and disappointment. The only thing I was positive about was how tired of being hurt I was; especially by those I loved and those who claimed to love me.
During my self-imposed exile I realized I had somehow allowed myself to become a shell instead of what I was meant to be. I was feeling miserable with my heart filled with self-loathing. I hated that I was weak and scared so I picked up my pen and started to write. I wrote to clear my head, to clear my heart but mostly to understand how I arrived at this crucial breaking point. Ultimately, I was writing to save my soul and my life!
Since putting my life story on paper, I have learned I am not an empty shell as I once assumed. I have learned I am strong; I am a fighter and I was meant to be here and write this book. Baring my soul and being vulnerable, I have disclosed my truth for everyone to see and in the process I found myself. Through the creative process, I have come to realize I have finally faced my demons and risen above them.
Before diving deeper into this story, it is important for the reader to note the many players in the story of my life – some good and some bad. Regardless of status, the characters remain nameless in this tale of woe for a reason.
I am eternally grateful to the nameless heroes and heroines who’ve played a role in the story of my life. Their names are tattooed forever on my once tattered heart. Their simple kindnesses gave me hope when I thought all hope was lost. These courageous people can rejoice in knowing they played a significant role in this woman’s healing.
As for the villains, they also remain anonymous on these pages, but they are never forgotten. Their names are branded in every scar I bear - seen and unseen. These people need to know how they affected my life, but they do not deserve condemnation – not even from me. I forgave them long ago because I refuse to allow bitterness to destroy the wholeness I have finally achieved.
This may be a difficult story to read but it is my healing process. As each page poured out of my soul, I slowly came to realize I have been blessed in many ways. Finally, I have learned that this entire time I had everything I needed in life to be happy. I just needed to find faith and believe my life was full of wonderful things instead of dwelling on the horrors of the past. Most of all, I had to believe I deserved true happiness. Without this belief, my life would continue to spin out of control. Writing my story has allowed me to find all the pieces of the puzzle called “my life”. Now I see a beautiful tapestry instead of a pile of worthless rags.
With forgiveness comes freedom.